Do I Really Need a Home Inspection?

Thursday Mar 09th, 2017

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Why I Always Recommend a Home Inspection!

 

As a homebuyer, you want to ensure that you are making the best decision when purchasing your home. A professional home inspection is an essential part of the buying process and I strongly advise all my clients to include a condition for a home inspection when making an offer on a home.

 
A professional home inspector will review the operating systems and structure of the home and provide you with a written report. Typical items included are the condition of the foundation, heating and cooling systems, plumbing, electrical and structural factors. The home inspector will let you know if certain items meet your local building code and will outline estimated costs of repair or replacement if needed.
 
The time during a home inspection is also the perfect opportunity to ask questions about how certain systems work and to get tips on how to optimally service and maintain your home.
 
In recent years there has been a rise in specialty inspectors who are skilled in specific areas. These include pool inspectors, septic inspectors and even professionals who specialize in historic or century homes.
 
While it is impossible to list everything a home inspector will check, here are some items to give you a general idea of what to expect:

Exterior

 
  • Exterior walls - The inspector will check for damaged or missing siding and cracks. The inspector will let you know which problems are cosmetic and which could be more serious.
  • Foundation - If the foundation is visible the inspector will check for evidence of foundation issues, like cracks or settling.
  • Grading - The inspector will let you know if the grading slopes away from the house as it should. If it doesn't, water could pool and get into the house causing damage and even flooding.
  • Garage or carport - The inspector will test the garage door for proper opening and closing. If there is a door to the house from the garage, the inspector will check to ensure it is a fire-rated self-closing door
  • Roof - The inspector will check for areas where roof damage or poor installation could allow water to enter the home, such as loose, missing or improperly secured shingles and cracked or damaged mastic around vents. They will also check the condition of the gutters.

Interior

 
  • Plumbing - The home inspector will check all faucets and showers, look for visible leaks, such as under sinks and test the water pressure. They will also identify the kind of pipes the house has. The inspector will also identify the location of the home's main water shutoff valve.
  • Electrical - The inspector will identify the kind of wiring the home has, test all the outlets and make sure there are functional ground fault circuit interrupters (which can protect you from electrocution, electric shock and electrical burns) installed in areas like the bathrooms, kitchen, garage and outdoors. They will also check your electrical panel for any safety issues and check your electrical outlets to make sure they do not present a fire hazard.
  • Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) - The inspector will look at your HVAC system to estimate the age of the furnace and air conditioner, determine if they function properly and recommend repairs or maintenance. 
  • Water heater - The home inspector will identify the age of the heater and determine if it is properly installed and secured. The inspector will also let you know what kind of condition it is in and give you a general idea of how many years it has left if it is owned
  • Kitchen appliances – The inspector will sometimes check kitchen appliances that come with the home to make sure they work, but these are not always part of the inspection. Be sure to ask your inspector which appliances are not included in his inspection so you can do your due diligence and check yourself
  • Laundry room - The inspector will make sure the laundry room is properly vented. A poorly maintained dryer-exhaust system can be a serious fire hazard.
  • Bathrooms - The inspector will check for visible leaks, properly secured toilets, adequate ventilation and other issues. If the bathroom does not have a window and/or a ventilation fan, mold and mildew can become problems and moisture can warp wood cabinets over time.
  • Thermal Imaging - Some inspectors will have a thermographic infrared camera to detect and diagnose hidden problems behind the walls/floors. Things like moisture issues, air leaks and other hidden problems. 
If a home inspection reveals big problems or expenses you weren’t expecting, you have the opportunity to terminate or re-negotiate the deal to help cover the cost of major remedies and repairs. 
 
If you have any additional questions about why you should get a home inspection, feel free to reach out to me anytime. I can be reached directly at 905-330-7344 or cwasley@rmxemail.com

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